Message from Mayor Bill de Blasio
Making New York City the fairest big city in America—and transforming the lives of 8.6 million New Yorkers along the way—has been our calling every day now for seven years. It’s a challenge we have taken on with grit and energy, and I could not be prouder of how far we have come.
Along the way, we have had to overcome many roadblocks—from tight budgets to special interests to the ever-present naysayers. But needless to say we never expected to be up against the devastating pandemic that ripped through the heart of our city over much of the past year.
Thankfully, the vaccine is now injecting new hope into the lives of New Yorkers—New Yorkers who, when they think back to this time, I believe will always remember one thing:
That even during the pandemic’s darkest days, when it was hard to make out the light at the end of the tunnel, they could always continue to count on each other.
The Mayor’s Fund is a glowing example of that solidarity. The fund has helped us transform New York City during the best of times. But just like it did in the wake of catastrophes like the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks or Hurricane Maria, it once again stepped up in remarkable ways during this crisis.
Thanks to the Mayor’s Fund, the city could count on a much-needed COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund that raised an incredible $60 million, which in turn helped countless New Yorkers weather the storm. For healthcare workers and small-businesses owners, for essential staff and displaced hourly workers, for immigrant families, for youngsters, for the most vulnerable among us, it made all the difference.
Just a few details: Hospital staff—whose grueling days saving lives left no time for grocery shopping—received more than 400,000 packages of food, produce, cleaning and personal-care items. Approximately 76,000 hard-hit immigrant New Yorkers benefited from emergency-relief payments. And survivors of domestic violence could secure safe housing through a pilot program of unique micro-grants.
Through these and similar initiatives, the Mayor’s Fund helped us get through one of the toughest years of its history and, at the same time, helped us lay the foundation of the ever fairer, safer, and healthier city we are already seeing on the horizon. For that, I am deeply thankful.
Together, I trust we will continue to do the bold work that is transforming New York City.
Message from First Lady Chirlane McCray
Chair, Board of Directors
Not in our wildest dreams could we have imagined the many-headed monster trials of 2020.
Yet through a highly contagious viral pandemic, a wrenching economic crisis, and long-overdue reckoning with systemic racism and injustice, we have witnessed the best of New Yorkers. We have seen the generosity, resolve, and growing determination of our people. We know our mission cannot be to return to ‘normal.’ We must emerge a stronger, fairer, and more equal New York City.
A stronger New York has long been the mission of the Mayor’s Fund—and in 2020, we took that to our hearts with renewed urgency. We raised $77.4 million, the third-highest total in the Fund’s history. In the early days of this crisis, we brought together public, private, and philanthropic leaders to raise $60 million for our COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.
But the real story of the Fund goes beyond dollars. It’s about the lives we have changed. We brought relief to tens of thousands of doctors, nurses, and first responders through our Food For Heroes initiative. We helped keep open mom-and-pop restaurants that define our neighborhoods through our Restaurant Revitalization Program, and saw to it that their workers kept their livelihoods. And even in the midst of the pandemic, we found a way to bring our young people hope and opportunity through Summer Youth Programming and our NYC Soccer Initiative.
In this report, you will read about all of our extraordinary efforts. We have more work to do, but I am so proud of this remarkable team, and the foundation that has been put in place for 2021 and beyond. I know the Mayor’s Fund will continue bringing leaders together and bringing out the best in New Yorkers—as we continue leading the fight for a fairer, stronger New York City.
Message from Rob Speyer
Chair, Board of Advisors
This year, New York City’s residents, businesses, and government faced extraordinary challenges, far beyond what most of us have ever experienced. Yet, even in the face of unprecedented hardship, New Yorkers displayed the indomitable spirit, ingenuity, and energy for which we are known. As people took action to support one another throughout this tumultuous year, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City played a key role as the central artery through which collaboration, innovation, and contributions flowed.
As the pandemic was taking hold in March, the Mayor’s Fund joined with dozens of local businesses and community organizations—including Peloton, Tatcha, Apple, Facebook, Americares, Americogroup and Emigrant Bank—to donate and distribute millions of masks, gloves, gowns and face shields to New York’s heroic frontline workers.
In April, the Mayor’s Fund developed and launched Food for Heroes, which delivered more than 170,000 nutritious meals to healthcare workers at NYC Health + Hospitals Elmhurst, staff at the NYC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, medical workers who chose to stay in hotels to protect vulnerable family members, as well as healthcare workers who traveled from out-of-state to serve on the frontlines, staff at non-profit nursing homes, and workers at New York City Sanitation Department garages. With these brave professionals working around the clock with few breaks and without access to hospital cafeterias and other local restaurants closed, Food for Heroes provided individually packaged grab-and-go meals to help sustain workers through their shifts.
I am grateful to all of our private sector partners who worked hand-in-hand with the Mayor’s Fund team to address the pandemic’s extreme physical, mental, and emotional toll.
In addition to important monetary contributions, New York’s business community has also volunteered time and physical spaces to support the collective fight against COVID-19. Let me share just a few examples of the extraordinary efforts undertaken: Dumbo Moving donated 20,000 square feet at their warehouse to store isolation gowns for medical distribution; Miller Druck Specialty Contracting, Inc. and Cube Smart Self Storage received, sorted, and delivered more than 400 packages of PPE containing thousands of supplies; Starbucks contributed eleven 53-foot trailers to store masks for City agencies and public distribution; and Transfix provided in-kind transportation services to move more than 100,000 pounds of PPE into the City’s stockpile.
I am incredibly proud of all we have accomplished together in 2020 and look forward to better days ahead in 2021. Thank you for your support of the Mayor’s Fund, your fellow New Yorkers, and the long-term health of the world’s greatest city.